The Difference Between Photorealism and Hyperrealism

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“Hyperrealism is a genre of painting (and sculpture) that resembles a high resolution photograph and is a fully-fledged school of art that evolved naturally from Pop Art, which led naturally to Photorealism.

Consequently, Hyperrealism is effectively an advancement of Photorealism. However, whereas Photorealists reproduced photographs so exactly that the human eye could not distinguish between the original photograph and the resultant painting, Hyperrealists took the techniques employed much further in that they developed ways of introducing narrative, charm and emotion into their paintings – which from a distance look like photographs but which when examined more closely are clearly nothing of the sort.

The term “Hyperrealism” was primarily applied to an independent art movement and art style in the United States and Europe that has developed since the early 2000s.

It evolved from the word Hyperealisme, which was first used by Isy Brachot in 1973 as a French word meaning Photorealism. It was the title of a major catalog and exhibition at his gallery in Brussels Belgium in that year. European artists and dealers have since used the word Hyperealisme to describe painters influenced by the Photorealists”.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Hyperrealism as an “American art movement that began in the 1960s, taking photography as its inspiration. Photo-realist painters created highly illusionistic images that referred not to nature but to the reproduced image. Artists… attempted to reproduce what the camera could record. Several sculptors… were also associated with this movement. Like the painters, who relied on photographs, the sculptors cast from live models and thereby achieved a simulated reality”.

While the Encyclopaedia Britannica is satisfied with placing Hyperrealism in a semi-historical context and leaving it at that, Wikipedia goes further into defining the difference between Photorealism and Hyperrealism: “Hyperrealism”, it says, “is contrasted with the literal approach found in traditional photorealist paintings of the late 20th century. Hyperrealist painters and sculptors use photographic images as a reference source from which to create a more definitive and detailed rendering, one that unlike Photorealism, often is narrative and emotive in its depictions… The photorealistic style of painting was uniquely tight, precise, and sharply mechanical with an emphasis on mundane everyday imagery, as it was an evolvement from Pop Art.

Hyperrealism, on the other hand, although photographic in essence, can often entail a softer and much more complex focus on the subject depicted, presenting it as a living tangible object. These objects and scenes in Hyperrealism paintings and sculptures are meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a new reality not seen in the original photo. That is not to say that they are surreal, as the illusion is a convincing depiction of (simulated) reality.

Textures, surfaces, lighting effects and shadows are painted to appear clearer and more distinct than the reference photo or even the actual subject itself”.

Many artists, dealers, gallery and museum curators confuse the issue because there is no static definition of Hyperrealism. Consequently, photorealist artists are often described as hyperrealists – and vice versa. The true hyperrealist, however, is no mere copyist. The true hyperrealist recognizes that despite the extraordinary technical skills required in photorealism, (which are no less when creating hyperrealistic paintings, there is little point in merely reproducing a photograph as a painting; why not merely print the original photograph larger, he argues.

Instead, the hyperrealist interprets the reference photograph – or in many cases multiple reference photographs – and with the use of artistic licence, and specific and highly individualistic techniques of colouring and detailing, is able to add charm, emotion and ‘soul’ to his paintings, thus giving to his works a mystical, even magical quality that simply does not exist in photorealistic paintings. It is for this reason that hyperrealism is considered an advancement on photorealism.

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Source by Will Bent

Top 10 Car Drawing Books For Beginner Artists

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1. How to Draw Cars Like a Pro, 2nd Edition

In this long-awaited follow-up to the best-selling first edition of How to Draw Cars Like a Pro, renowned car designer Thom Taylor goes back to the drawing board to update his classic with all-new illustrations and to expand on such topics as the use of computers in design today. Taylor begins with advice on selecting the proper tools and equipment, then moves on to perspective and proportion, sketching and cartooning, various media, and light, shadow, reflection, color, and even interiors. Written to help enthusiasts at all artistic levels, his book also features more than 200 examples from many of today’s top artists in the automotive field. Updated to include computerized illustration techniques.

Author: Thom Taylor

2. How To Draw Cars Fast and Easy

How To Draw Cars Fast and Easy is a 134 page car drawing guide in downloadable e-book format, jam-packed from cover to cover with all the tips and techniques previously known by only a small handful of professional designers. This program contains all the information you’ll ever need to draw perfect looking cars quickly and easily that will amaze your friends.

Author: Tim Rugendyke

3. How To Design Cars Like a Pro

This book describes how car design and technology work through the eyes of the most talented and powerful car designers in the world. The interviews give a deep understanding of why we see what we see on the highways of the world. Author Tony Lewin has been a highly regarded magazine editor on the world stage for so long that some of the top young guns revealing all in this book were hanging on his words just a few years ago.

Author: Tony Lewin

4. How to Draw & Paint Cars

This book is not about learning how to draw and paint fashionable cars, super cars, tarted up street or ‘cool’ cars as referred to by some motoring journalists, it is about drawing and painting all types of cars. The author has endeavored to distill experience from many years creating images on this subject into a book that will help and encourage those keen to draw and paint cars, both for pleasure or as a career. The author takes you through the history of the car from it’s conception in 1885 to current models with sketches and paintings created in a variety of mediums, with examples and step by step guides. Readers are encouraged to develop their skills, whether raw beginners or accomplished artists. The road to success won’t be easy, but, through this book you will learn all the techniques short cuts accumulated over decades by an accomplished commercial artist. Whether for business or pleasure this book is THE handbook for automotive art. With 185 illustrations and step by step guides this is a must have for any budding auto artist.

Author: Tony Gardiner

5. How to Draw Cars the Hot Wheels Way

This book provides excellent how-to-draw detail that is appealing and easy to follow for Hot Wheels(tm) and drawing enthusiasts from ages 10 to adult. Detailed drawing techniques with descriptive captions allow readers to create their own automotive designs. Illustrations emphasize how to draw fantasy, custom, concept, and hot rod cars. Author Scott Robertson uses original Mattel artwork throughout the book. With real Mattel artwork featured in detail, the bo0ok has great appeal for collectors, even if they aren’t aspiring artists. Because Hot Wheels(tm) diecast cars are modeled after both real and fantasy vehicles, the techniques and interest to readers is the same as for real-life car enthusiasts. Officially licensed by Mattel.

Author: Scott Robertson

6. H-Point: The Fundamentals of Car Design & Packaging

The ultimate reference guide for car designers and automotive engineers! H-Point was written by the pioneer of the Vehicle Architecture course at Art Center College of Design, Stuart Macey along with the Director of Advanced Mobility Research, Geoff Wardle. Currently used as the educational handout for the transportation design students at Art Center, it will now be available to aspiring car creators everywhere, clearly organizing the packaging standards that apply to car and truck design; along with insightful graphic explanations, this book demystifies the automotive design process and allows designers access to an illustrious careers worth of knowledge.

Author: Stuart Macey

7. How to Design Cars Like a Pro

This comprehensive new edition of How to Design Cars Like a Pro provides an in-depth look at modern automotive design. Interviews with leading automobile designers from Ford, BMW, GM Jaguar, Nissan and others, analyses of past and present trends, studies of individual models and concepts, and much more combine to reveal the fascinating mix of art and science that goes into creating automobiles. This book is a must-have for professional designers, as well as for automotive enthusiasts.

Author: Tony Lewin

8. DRIVE: vehicle sketches and renderings

DRIVE features Scott Robertson’s very latest vehicle designs intended for the video game space communicated through skillfully drawn sketches and renderings.

DRIVE builds upon the success of his prior two vehicle design books, Start Your Engines and Lift Off. Featuring four chapters, each representing a different aesthetic theme, Aerospace, Military, Pro Sports and Salvage, conceptual sports cars, big-rigs and off -road vehicle designs are beautifully represented through traditional and digital media sketches, and renderings.

Author: Scott Robertson

9. How to Illustrate and Design Concept Cars

Beginners will find an easy-to-follow introduction to the topic, while more experienced designers can find new inspirations by reading about the author’s workflow process. A very interesting book for everyone who loves drawing and rendering cars.

Author: Adrian dewey

10. Start Your Engines: Surface Vehicle Sketches & Renderings from the Drawthrough Collection (Air Vehicle Sketches)

Start Your Engines compiles works from Scott Robertson’s vast archives of ground vehicle drawings and renderings, and features the following chapters: Cars, Bicycles, Snowcraft Mechanimals and selected work from the conceptual design of vehicles for the video games Field Commander and Spy Hunter 2. The Cars chapter comprises about half of this book and features original designs both futuristic and retrospective.

Author: Scott Robertson

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Source by Hayaho Miazaki

The Art of Making Love to a Man – 3 Ways of Pleasing Your Man in Bed

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Making love to a man is a totally different thing to having sex with him. Sex can be a “quickie” or just a way of relieving any sexual frustration that you have. Making love to a man is about taking your time and showing him what he means to you.

Here are three tips on how to make love to a man.

1. You might think that men like to just get on with it but that’s not the case, they love foreplay just as much as you do. Your man will love it if you gently kiss his neck and chest and stroke him down the sides of his body with your fingers.

2. After the foreplay tease him some more by lying him on his back while you get on top of him. Don’t let him get inside just yet but tease him by rubbing your vagina on his penis while putting your breasts near his mouth. By now he will be at your mercy and will be enjoying the best love making he has ever received.

3. When making love to a man you should be in control because after all it’s you that is doing the love making and not him. So now that he is at the peak of his arousal let him slip inside, keep him deep and move your hips slowly. The deeper you keep him the longer he will last and the more pleasure you will get.

Just bear in mind that making love to a man should be a gentle caring experience for him. So don’t let him take charge because he will just get over excited and turn it into just another sex session.

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Source by Michael Harradine

Kanji Tattoo Mistakes – How to Avoid Them

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Kanji tattoo mistakes happen, a lot more often than many of their wearers realize. There are a lot of people walking around with tattoos that have mistakes which are glaring to anyone who can read kanji. In some cases the tattoo artist has reversed the stencil, resulting in a character written backwards, in others they’ve left out one or more of the strokes, or added something that has no business being there. Often, kanji tattoos are made up of meaningless combinations of characters or single characters that, on their own, are enigmatic at best.

One of the most common problems seen with kanji tattoos is straight translation. Many people would like to get a tattoo of a certain English word or phrase written in kanji symbols. They want to know, “How do you say this in Japanese?” or “How do you say that in Chinese?” But they often get advice from less than reliable sources. Also, some tattoo studios offer kanji tattoos that do not mean what they are purported to mean.

One sentiment that many people seem to want to have tattooed on their bodies is some variation of “live for today,” “seize the day,” or “carpe diem.” I’ve seen two versions of kanji tattoos that are obviously mistaken attempts at straight translation of these phrases. One very popular tattoo is made up of a kanji that means “life,” (along with a host of other things) and a character that by itself means “appear,” but can mean “now” or “the present” in combination with another character. The combination of these two characters signifies nothing at all; in tandem, they form a kanji tattoo that is nothing but the purest gibberish.

The other version is a combination of four kanji, the first two are a kanji compound which means “grasp” as in “grasp an idea,” and the second two mean “day.” Unfortunately, the result is not the intended phrase “seize the day,” it is, again, nothing but gibberish.

Ironically, there is a perfectly good saying in Japanese that is very close in meaning to “seize the day.” It’s made up of four ideographs which mean, respectively, “one,” “inevitable moment,” “one,” and “meet.” This is an ideographic phrase, but basically, it means: you only encounter one inevitable moment once in your life, therefore, you should live each moment to the fullest.

O.K. We’ve established that just popping into your local tattoo parlor and getting the first kanji tattoo that catches your fancy inked onto your skin can be a recipe for disaster. So then, if you want to get a kanji tattoo that won’t leave the kanji literate either baffled or doubled over in laughter, how should you go about it?

First of all, you should decide whether you want to get a Japanese or Chinese language tattoo. Kanji originally came to Japan from China and the two languages do share many of the same characters, but they don’t necessarily mean the same thing, especially when you put two or more of them together.

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Source by Eric Hilton

How to Paint Mist Or Fog in a Landscape Painting

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Painting mist or fog turns an ordinary scene into something special or specific. For example, mist can indicate that it is morning before the sun has burnt off the fog or it can indicate distance. Fog can add mystery, suspense or even peacefulness to paintings.

You should decide beforehand if you want the entire scene to contain mist of fog or just distant mountains and valleys. A scene that is fully misted will have little detail in the background because just like on a misty day – visibility is limited. Look at other paintings and at nature and observe what you see.

Let’s say that the entire scene will be misted. You most likely will use opaque or dulled down colors and paint in the background, again use little detail. A dry brush technique with circular strokes makes a nice misty effect. Use slightly more detail in the middle ground and more in the foreground. When the painting is done you could use a very – very thin (watercolor consistency) white and go over the entire painting layer by layer until the effect you desire is achieved.

If the effect your looking for is mist or fog at the base of mountains or trees, then that’s pretty easy too. I paint with acrylics and they dry quickly so this technique works well. After your mountains or trees are dry, dry-brush with white from the bottom upwards. Remember the mist is very transparent, so you need to use a tiny amount of paint on a dry brush. Start at the base, use circular strokes and work your way up until the mist blends in. Do the same with mountains or water scenes.

I would suggest practicing these techniques before attempting to apply them to a finished painting. If you aren’t comfortable, the last think you want to do is ruin your work. Remember, mist and fog are fairly simple techniques that add tons of character to art.

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Source by Julie Shoemaker

Dental Insurance Vs Health Insurance

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If you’re old enough to have been employed in the 1960’s, you might remember when your company began to provide dental insurance as part of your health benefits package. Like many consumers, you may have thought-and perhaps might still believe-that your medical and dental coverage were similar, but that is not the case. Understanding the differences between these types of insurance can be a vital tool as you continue to seek the highest quality, lowest cost oral care.

General Medical vs. Oral Health Concerns

To understand why health insurance and dental coverage are different from each other, it is helpful to think about the nature of the problems each addresses.

Most non-dental, medical conditions we encounter cannot be predicted, and can be considered uncertain or random. Quite often, their occurrence results in significant and even catastrophic expense. Take a look at an itemized hospital bill or a receipt that shows how much your insurance covered when you needed an MRI or extensive blood tests, and you will understand just how quickly health costs can spiral out of control, as well as the key role insurance coverage plays in cushioning many of us from bankruptcy.

Contrast these health problems with dental issues such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. While oral diseases can be found in people from all walks of life, races and creeds, their prevalence has markedly decreased in recent years. This positive trend is due, in part, to community water fluoridation, as well as to the fact that more people are seeing the dentist regularly for preventive care. But unlike many health problems that may disappear unexpectedly, dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease only worsen over time, resulting in extensive and costly care.

How the Dental System Structure is Unique

Interestingly, the average per person expenditure for dental care in 2002 was $513.06, compared to $3,302 per person in the same year spent for standard medical care.

These figures suggest that these systems operate very differently from each other. Technological advances in the field of dentistry have enabled oral practitioners to be more efficient and to bring their costs down. Innovations in standard medicine, however, tend to result in higher costs.

When you visit your dentist, he or she can address most of your needs right in his office. In fact, 80% of dentists are general practitioners, with specialists like oral surgeons making up the other 20%.

This stands in direct contrast to the medical profession, where specialists comprise 80% of the field. In addition, most if not all of the dental care you ever receive in your lifetime will be on an outpatient basis, whereas a good portion of general healthcare takes place in hospitals or other in-patient settings. Finally, a much lower percentage of dentists are allied into larger groups or partnerships than are doctors. All of these factors combine to separate dentistry from general medicine.

Dental Insurance vs. Health Insurance

There is one final factor that sets dental care apart. Because most oral conditions are not of a life-threatening nature, you as the patient can have the luxury of time and choice. You can go online and consult family and friends or get a second opinion to find the dentist who will best meet your needs.

This time to shop around for oral care could give you the chance to research helpful coverage options known as discount dental plans. These alternatives to dental insurance enable a patient to save significantly because large groups of dentists band together and offer quality care at reduced prices. Insurance has come a long way since the 1960’s, and obtaining the coverage that will save you the most money for the best care is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

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Source by Susan Braden

ShareFaith Vs Graceway Media

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Do you want to improve your church’s media program, but don’t really know where to start? Are you looking at subscribing to a church media website, but aren’t really sure which one is best for your church? Well recently I made a post mentioning some very brief differences between CreationSwap, ShareFaith, and Graceway Media. I decided that I would do some research and bring you an in-depth analysis between all three. While this post is titled ShareFaith vs. Graceway Media, I wanted to feature CreationSwap’s benefits as well. It is not something that you would necessarily join, while the other two require a membership fee, which is why we’re focusing on them. This will be a completely unbiased approach considering I have only recently been exposed to all three. I have developed no loyalties to any particular one of them, however I have used material from each one. We will take a look at elements such as: cost, design quality, customization, and features. My goal is to save you the time of having to do the research, yet still being able to make an intelligent decision about what is right for your church.

We will begin with CreationSwap. I will analyze each one separately, and then will compare them in the end. This is their stated purpose: “Search royalty-free stock photos, church bulletins, sermon art, logos and more shared freely or sold by Christian artists worldwide. Also, visit our Network to connect with artists, view portfolios or post jobs free.”

Cost

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is: How much is this going to cost me? CreationSwap is the only one of these three media companies that offers free downloads. They also include many designs that you must purchase if you desire to use them. All of the print material including postcards, bulletins, banners, and invitations require payment of some form. Cost differs based upon the item you are purchasing. They offer a free “membership,” though everything is available whether you sign-up or not.

Design Quality

The second biggest question you probably want to know besides cost is: How good are their materials? Because of the nature of the website, quality is hit or miss. Designers are able to create their own stuff and upload it for your use. You may find some really great designs, and then again you may not see much you like at all. I would check this site at least once a week to browse what new designs have come along and see if anything can be useful to you.

Customization

After you’ve picked a design, you probably want to know how easy it is to customize it for you church? If you are Photoshop savvy, some of the downloads come with PSD files that allow editing. Others only supply JPG image files making them impossible to edit text and customize for your church unless you have some advanced photo editing skills.

Features

• Free downloads

• Printing Network

• Community Discussion and Blog Posts

• Critiques on Design Concepts

• Ability to Sell Your Artwork

One of the most valuable tools for a designer, besides the downloads themselves, is the critiques offered to designs. Even if you don’t post your own designs to receive feedback, you can take a look at what some designers have created and what others are saying about it. this offers valuable insight to improve your designs for maximum effectiveness.

ShareFaith’s “About” statement is a little too long to post here, but the essence of it is found toward the beginning: “In order to provide the best solutions in church digital media, our goal is to partner with churches and ministries, providing technology solutions and communication tools that will enable them to communicate the gospel more effectively.” For more about them, visit their About page.

Cost

Their regular price is stated at $149/yr, per their join page, however, right now they have a special going on offering 15% if you join within a certain time. Meaning that as of the time of this writing, the price to join is $126.65/yr. They offer no free material on a normal basis, but they do offer a 10-day free trial. The limitations of that free trial are listed on their website. You can download an unlimited numbers of files during your trial, but only one sermon media loop, and websites are restricted to members only.

Design Quality

As a designer, my personal opinion of ShareFaith is that their design work is average or a little above average. Some of it looks good, while others seem too busy. A missionary friend of mine designed a poster based off of one of ShareFaith’s backgrounds and then asked me to spice it up a little bit. I ended up throwing the whole thing out and starting from scratch by buying a stock image and creating it all in Photoshop.

Customization

This is a big plus for ShareFaith. Open any one of their Powerpoint files and you will see how many different variations of blank slide backgrounds they have available for you to use, as well as some different in service announcement files. You can download the Powerpoint itself, or a ZIP file to get the raw JPGs and edit them yourself.

Features

• Sermon Powerpoints

• Videos and Media Clips

• Website Templates

• Bulletins

• Tips & Ideas

• Blogs

• And more…

ShareFaith is the one place where you will find everything that you could possibly need for your church. They even offer a comparison chart their website that includes Graceway Media. However, the one thing this chart does not talk about is Design Quality, which is Graceway Media’s biggest plus.

Graceway’s stated history is “Graceway Media began in 2006 as PowerPoint Sermons, providing sermon titles and designs. The goal was to assist pastors with the presentation of their sermon, giving them quality designs and a selection to choose from. Since then, our passion for helping churches preach, teach and present the Gospel has led us to move beyond sermons and include designs for worship, specific ministries, special events, holidays and more to help the church with all aspects of design needs.”

Cost

The cost for a Graceway Media membership is $249/yr for Stills or Motion graphics separately and a shocking $399/yr for their Total Media package. They do offer a free trial membership that gives you access to 24 of their design styles. Besides that, Graceway Media is by far the most expensive of the group.

Design Quality

Here is where Graceway Media shines. One glimpse at their designs will have you drooling for more. Each design includes a large sermon title, a Powerpoint slide with sermon title in the corner, and a blank Powerpoint slide. The motion graphics are HD quality that don’t possess that cheap look some of the free media loop places have. My initial thought of the price was steep, but after seeing their graphics I could almost rationalize purchasing a membership for such great quality.

Customization

Graceway also offers the best customization system. They offer you the blank slide (as was already mentioned), PSD files for those who can change the graphics themselves, and a Retitling service for those who cannot change the slides themselves. But, as would be expected when looking at the price tag, they charge a small amount for this service. They do not state their credit price out in the open, but offer 10 free credits upon joining that they boast is a $50 value, meaning that you would be paying $5/slide.

Features

• HD Stills

• HD Motion Graphics

• Personalization

• Banners

• Blog

Graceway is a little low of the features, limiting their work to Sermon graphics and worship video loops.

So Who Wins?

As whole, to me, Graceway Media feels like a more personal ministry. They have a picture of there whole team posted on their website that puts faces to the ministry. Since signing up for their free trial, I have been contacted twice asking how I was liking it and if I was interested in signing up for membership. But I honestly can’t speak for ShareFaith since I do not personally have an account, though my church does. Well let’s start tallying up the points and see who wins.

Cost

CreationSwap is free, for the most part, and so you should be visiting this website on a normal basis looking for what you can use. If you find something you like that costs some money, feel free to pay for it if you like, but you’ll be paying individually for each item. Between the two membership sites, ShareFaith wins the Cost award.

Design Quality

Graceway Media takes home this award. I’ve looked at a lot of church media resource websites and GraceWay Media beats them all. Nothing is sharper or better designed that the material at Graceway.

Customization

This is a tie between ShareFaith and Graceway. ShareFaith offers plenty of materials for customizing your own materials, but that’s it. Graceway offers a more sophisticated Retitling service, but it’s going to cost you each time you want it done. For this reason, they each receive one point.

Features

ShareFaith easily takes the gold for features. Their own chart, listed above, makes that evident. ShareFaith is the total church media package that has everything you will ever need.

Conclusions

ShareFaith wins over Graceway Media 3 to 2, unless you include the friendliness of Graceway into the mix, then it’s a tie 3 to 3. The cold hard truth is that ShareFaith is cheaper and many churches need cheaper. They also offer more features, so for the church that’s on a budget, ShareFaith is the only choice that’s even feasible. However, if your church can afford to spend a little extra, you will get far better design quality from Graceway Media. Oh, and don’t forget that regardless of who you are, you should be visiting CreationSwap for the latest freebies.

Traver Freeman

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Source by Traver L Freeman

Haidong Gumdo – Korean Sword Martial Art – An Introduction and Comparison

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It’s time to set the record straight about Haidong Gumdo. For those unfamiliar with this, Haidong Gumdo is a Korean martial art focused on the use of swords. The visual aesthetic is familiar to most Americans, and will remind one of the Japanese samurai due to the shape of the sword and the dress which is worn. Haidong Gumdo is about grace. It is about precision, and power. It is about mastering one’s own mind and body in the development of physical skill. It is not, however, about cultural imitations or derivations.

The Sword

The sword used in Haidong Gumdo practice is known by multiple names, including hwando and jingum, which is the equivalent of the Japanese word shinken, or “real sword”. It is important for those more familiar with Japanese sword arts to realize that the jingum is not a katana, despite certain surface similarities. This is largely related to differences in cutting technique. While historical Korean swords come in many shapes and sizes, the modern jingum is easy to distinguish from a Japanese katana by the shape of the tip and the method in which the blade is mounted to the handle. Quality jingum typically have a wider tip, and are mounted with a pin and bolt in the handle.

The Uniform

The Haidong Gumdo uniform used by the World Haidong Gumdo Federation is something else that causes confusion to those more familiar with Japanese sword arts. This is because of the pants that are worn, which flare outwards similar to the Japanese hakama. As with the sword, however, there are differences between the Japanese and Korean styles. The Japanese hakama are worn outside of the gi (or jacket), while in Haidong Gumdo, the jacket is worn over the pants. Since the top of the pants is therefore not visible, they have an elastic waist, rather than the elaborate ties of the hakama.

In addition, Haidong Gumdo makes use of a short sleeved dobak, or uniform. This allows more freedom of movement, without worrying about catching the sword in the sleeve. Finally, Haidong Gumdo makes use of colored belts to denote rank, similar to more familiar arts such as the Korean Taekwondo, or the Japanese Judo.

Relations with “other” sword arts

Unfortunately, the aesthetic similarities between the Korean and Japanese sword arts, coupled with a history of tension between these two peoples, has given rise to a significant amount of misunderstanding and strife in the martial arts community.

This is not to say anything at all negative about Japanese sword martial arts! I feel no need, for example, to dispute the history or legitimacy of Iaido, which is a modern Japanese sword art as practiced by the All Japan Kendo Federation. It is beautiful and graceful, and, I might add, new. The same is true of Haidong Gumdo.

Yet the martial arts community remains plagued by the tension which has existed between these peoples for quite some time. As American practitioners of these arts in particular, we should respect each others’ chosen disciplines. That’s not even to begin to mention the negativity which arises from meaningless debates about historical origins, uniform styles, or effectiveness. This kind of slander only serves to weaken us in our pursuit of mastery.

So let’s move the discussion in a more positive direction. Do you practice a martial art? What do we even mean when we use that term?

The Meaning of “the Way”

I would argue that sports such as MMA (“mixed martial arts”) do not fit the definition of martial arts in the traditional sense. The word Gumdo translates as “the way of the sword”. “Way” is used here the same as it is used in Taoism. In fact, “Tao” and “Do” are the same character, pronounced differently in different languages. To quote Wikipedia:

“The martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development.”

That second phrase is important. A significant part of martial arts practice is mental, physical, and spiritual development. So this would include the various styles of Chinese Kung Fu, Japanese Karate, and Korean Taekwondo, among others. It includes the various ryu of Japanese Samurai Swordsmanship, and yes, it includes Haidong Gumdo, an indigenous Korean sword art. Sure, nothing develops in a vacuum, and Korea necessarily shows influences related to its geographical location and its interaction with other cultures. But that does not diminish the art or its practitioners.

Conclusion

Haidong Gumdo focuses on multiple aspects of swordsmanship, from drawing and sheathing, to forms work and stance training, to test cutting with a live blade. There is no trick to being able to perform these cuts, whether on bamboo or other targets – no stage magic, just years of training and practice. Personal betterment and a constant striving to improve technique are what makes it work.

Martial artists of all disciplines should be interested to see a positive sharing of ideas. Show me some of your own martial arts practice, and let’s compare. Anyone in the area is also welcome to visit my studio, Blue Mountain Martial Arts, to see my sword work first hand. Check out http://www.BlueMountainMA.com for more information.

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Source by John F Jacobs

Contemporary Furniture Design – History And Influences

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Contemporary furniture design came about through the combination of enquiring, innovative minds, advances in technology and the ability to produce incredible furniture at more affordable prices. The industrial revolution also played a huge part in this, particularly in terms of cheaper materials, access to factory space and the ability to create artistic furniture pieces at a price more suited to the public at large.

From the late 19th century, designers started to look towards sleeker, simpler designs for modern furniture. Whereas in the past furniture had been constructed almost entirely from wood, resulting in heavy overstated pieces indicative of grandeur and luxury. This access to new materials and different ways of working allowed designers to make more compact and modest sized items. These new furniture designs were easier to incorporate within any required living space and also gave the purchaser an opportunity to buy items that were an expression of their own personal tastes, with less limitations. Contemporary furniture design became known for being serviceable and functional but with a creative slant that saw modern furniture often viewed as pieces of art in their own right.

Odd angles, clean lines, curved shaping and materials such as metal and moulded plastic paved the way for modern furniture to infiltrate into our consciousness. It’s hard to ignore the striking designs of contemporary furniture pieces – the fluidity and sharpness often used in these designs made people really start to sit up and take notice of modern furniture.

Many designers of modern and contemporary furniture are also noted for being incredible architects – contemporary furniture is really about functional items being seen as architectural and artistic designs. Architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright and even Antoni Gaudi started to incorporate contemporary furniture design into their overall architectural visions. Gaudi would often design furniture pieces to complement the interesting nuances of his buildings, creating a harmony between the external structure and internal decoration.

Other notable contributors to the contemporary furniture movement include Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier and Lilly Reich. Mies van der Rohe invented the now famous and often copied ‘Barcelona chair’ and his contemporary furniture often used cantilevers to enable supportive yet delicate framework, often created out of chrome. Mies worked in collaboration with Lilly Reich for over a decade, sharing both a professional and personal relationship. In addition to her involvement in the design of the Barcelona chair, the couple also worked together to create the Brno chair, another iconic piece of modern furniture that continues to be cited as both inspirational and aspirational.

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Source by Chris Button

The Decline and Fall of Martial Arts Films and the Rise of the Action Blockbuster Movie

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Comparing martial arts films of the 1970s to the action blockbusters of 2009/10

Red Cliff, Ip Man and True Legend are already iconic of the early 21st century “martial arts films”-although many can argue they are more action spectacle than true “kung fu” films. The 1970s, on the other hand, didn’t rely on eye-candy effects and were defined more by the true grit of its martial arts actors: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, the Five Venoms, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Jimmy Wong, and other real fighters trained in genuine kung fu, karate and other arts.

Martial Arts Becomes Mainstream But Evolves Into Spectacle

Cult classics such as Enter the Dragon helped change Hollywood. Its growing popularity forced filmmakers to adopt martial arts into the formula of the “action flick.” Through the eighties and nineties, spectacle thrillers were expected to deliver “the fight moves”, even if it was only a few basic moves supported by some stuntmen and wires. Action movies became spectacles that required equal blends of story, drama, pace, “kung fu”, special effects and improbable plot twists.

In the 21st century, this became less “equal” with films relying first on special effects, then improbably plot twists (surprise is important, right?), followed by pace, martial arts skills, drama and-last and possibly least today-story. This trend extended even to the hot movies of the last few years, including Kung Fu Panda, Forbidden Kingdom, G.I. Joe and even the Transformers.

Asian Film Industry Threatens to Out-Spectacle Hollywood

With the full support and weight of China’s cultural industries, Asian film has blossomed into mainstream spectacles in high demand, led by CGI treats such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers and other instant classics. Arguably, Asian film long ago surpassed Hollywood for imagination, with the western producers buying rights to several hugely successful Asian films. With the largest population demographic in the world, there can be no doubt that Chinese films are set to dominate the film industry in years to come.

Red Cliff and Ip Man are perhaps the best known of these new hit-classics, but the rumor mills and fansites are buzzing with all the latest “coming soon” gossip. The big buz movies in 2010 is True Legend (Su Qi Er), starring Zhao Wen-Zho as the historical Begger Su, the originator of drunken kung fu. Donnie Yen returns in both part 2 of the Ip Man saga and in the much anticipated 14 Blades. Chow Yun-Fat breaks the mold and surprises everyone in his role as Confucius.

Both Hollywood and Asia Rely on CGI and Special Effects

The growing spectacle and importance of the “action film” is both enjoyable to the escapist and annoying for the aficionado of the true martial arts. While the actors in many of the films-in particular Asian films-are genuine martial artists (for example, Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Chow Yun-Fat)-the over-dependence on CGI and elaborate choreography turns the adventure into comic book. With notable exceptions, such as Ip Man and Tony Jaa in Ong Bak (and to a lesser extent Ong Bak 2 and 3), most action films rely on the “wow” factor of dazzling camera angles and computer-aided “enhancements.”

Ninja Assassin and the Cross-Over

There are, to be sure, cross-over films such as Ninja Assassin, where actor Rain trained 14 hours a day for months to perfect real martial arts moves (albeit only a handful of repeated moves), blended together with rather Matrix-like special effects. To some, the beauty of the realistic CGI takes away from the pleasure of watching well-choreographed real martial arts.

Ong Bak, on the other hand, led by genuine martial arts expert Tony Jaa, got by on solid martial arts and good choreography. No stuntmen, thank you. Tony Jaa was hailed as the “next Bruce Lee” for this reason, with much buzz and excitement in the martial arts community, and martial arts film fansites.

There’s No Escaping Escapism

Action films are, by design, escapist entertainment. They have become somewhat comic-book (pardon me, graphic novel), but that’s what most audiences do want. We want to forget reality.

Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2 probably came closest to the ideal mix for both the escapist fan and the martial arts practitioner-fan. While it wasn’t “real” by any means, and contained a brilliant and zesty blend of satire, comic-book, spoof, and choreography, it never-the-less nostalgically hearkened back to the wondrous days of Enter the Dragon and the classic Japanese Samarai films of the 70s.

Japanese Film Stays True to Martial Arts Traditions?

Perhaps the film industry most aligned with the older traditions of martial arts film making is Japan. Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman, was a low-budget film, that became an instant cult classic. Zatoichi took movie audiences back to the classic real-sword skills of the old Samarai films of the earlier decades, and spawned video games and an entire industry.

Less is More? Where is the Real Martial Arts Skill?

Genuine martial arts actors still abound-led by superstars such as Donnie Yen and Jet Li-and most Chinese martial arts actors are proficient. In Hollywood, the film-makers opt for four-move choreography (two kicks, a block and a punch), multiple camera angles (particularly close ups when the skills of the martial artist are not genuine), pounding music, FX, and stuntmen. With the old hopefuls gone from the Hollywood big screen-Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and the other promising real martial artists-there’s now a world of difference between Asian film actors-who work in frigid cold, fourteen hours a day in often primitive conditions, hammering out genuinely complex martial arts moves for relatively paltry paychecks-and Hollywood films that now rely on computer and actor stand-ins.

Batman Now Does Kung Fu

Batman now does kung fu, and so does G.I. Joe, and even Hellboy. They’re fun, but the martial artist fan misses the great luminaries of martial arts films who built their careers on the “real thing”: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, David Chiang, Sonny Chiba, Chen Kuan-tai, Tomisaburo Wkayama, Jimmy Wong Yu, Ti Lung and the Liu brothers.

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Source by Derek Armstrong